Bumetanide (Oral)

Bumetanide is a treatment for edema, which may occur in the presence of other conditions.

Overview

In many cases of liver disease, high blood pressure, heart disease, or kidney disease, the body may start producing less urine. This condition is known as edema, and can lead to other complications if left untreated. Swelling in the legs and shortness of breath, along with infrequent or limited urination may be a symptom that the body is retaining too much water. Bumetanide is often prescribed to treat this issue, as diuretics can cause more frequent urination.

Bumetanide is also available as a generic medication, which may be cheaper for some patients to use. It is taken orally, often 4 hours before bedtime. While Bumetanide may cause a number of side effects, many of these may be mild at worst. Patients may experience varying side effects as they continue taking the medication, or the side effects may disappear altogether. While severe side effects have been recorded, most patients do not experience anything beyond mild symptoms.

Bumetanide is a prescription drug that may interact with other medications if taken recklessly. These interactions can cause problems, especially if full doses of each medication are taken together. Talk to your doctor and make sure to disclose all your current medications before your first dose of Bumetanide. If possible, your doctor may adjust your dosage for each medication, or switch you to a new medication entirely. If you begin taking any other medications while on a Bumetanide prescription, call your doctor to make sure there is no risk.

While Bumetanide may not be appropriate for every person, it has been a groundbreaking medication for patients that previous suffered from edema. If you have been experiencing symptoms of edema, or have any of the symptoms listed above, talk to your doctor about diuretics like Bumetanide.

Type of Medication

  • Loop diuretic ("water pill")

Conditions Treated

  • Swelling caused by excess water/salt

Side Effects

Bumetanide may cause side effects, especially in patients that have never taken a diuretic, or patients that have a sensitivity to drugs of this type. If you are concerned about your side effects, speak to your doctor to get more information. Side effects may decrease or disappear entirely the longer you take this drug. You body requires time to adjust, so while some side effects may seem stronger or more intense in the first month/week, they will likely dissipate as you keep taking the drug.

However, if your side effects continue and become troublesome, talk to your doctor about other options or solutions. Here are some of the most common side effects recorded when taking Bumetanide.

  • Cramping
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Low blood pressure

While none of these are life threatening, they can cause discomfort or other problems in your daily life. Contact your doctor if they persist or become severe, as this may be a sign that Bumetanide is not the drug for you.

Every patient reacts differently, so keep an eye on your own health after you begin your prescription. If any more troubling side effects occur, contact your doctor as soon as possible. While some patients may experience few to no side effects, others might react badly to the medication. If you experience any of these side effects, stop taking Bumetanide and contact your doctor. If it begins to feel like a medical emergency, go to the hospital or call emergency services.

  • Skin reactions (itching, swelling, redness, sores, blistering, fever, or rash)
  • Electrolyte loss (inability to eat, fatigue, weakness, vomiting)
  • Hearing problems

Dosage

Bumetanide is taken orally, once a day. It is often taken before bed, and the dose can vary from person to person. Your doctor may up your dose depending on your condition, how you react to the first dose, and how you are responding to the medication over time. Your dose may also change depending on your age, or what other medications you are taking with Bumetanide.

The usual dose for Bumetanide is .5mg to 2 mg daily, and it may fluctuate over time. Your doctor may increase your dose if you aren't responding as planned, or decrease it if you experience persistent side effects. Bumetanide tablets should only be taken orally, and they can be taken with food or drink. Some doctors may prescribe that you take it in the morning, while others suggest you take it at night. Keep track of when you urinate while taking Bumetanide, and use that information to pick a schedule.

Your doctor should be the only one to determine your dose, so do not try to decrease or increase your medication abruptly. This can cause the medication to work less efficiently, or increase the likelihood or severity of your side effects. If you are concerned about how well you are reacting to the medication, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss changing your dosage.

Overdose of Bumetanide can cause severe weakness, fainting, and an abrupt and severe decrease in urine production. Call poison control if you believe you or a loved one has overdosed on Bumetanide, and be ready to provide them with all the information -- how much was taken, what drug, when was it taken. Bumetanide has no recreational value, and should never be taken recklessly. Do not take Bumetanide without a doctor's supervision.

Interactions

Bumetanide may cause interactions, especially in patients taking multiple drugs are a time. These interactions can be relatively harmless or mildly discomforting, such as increased side effects or other issues, or they can be more serious. Talk to your doctor about any possible interactions before taking Bumetanide, and do not take it off-label if you are using any interactive medications.

Be sure to inform your doctor of all your medications before you begin your prescription. Likewise, if you begin taking any other drugs or supplements while taking Bumetanide, call your doctor beforehand to make sure they won't interact. Do not take Bumetanide unless you are sure that all other interactive drugs have been cleared from your system, and your doctor assures that it's safe for you to begin your prescription.

Here is a list of common medications that may interact with Bumetanide. However, this list is in no way exhaustive, and a doctor's advice should almost always be favored over the information on an internet webpage. These are just drugs that are commonly seen on prescription lists.

  • Bipolar medications like lithium/lithium-based drugs. Bumetanide can cause these drugs to be cleared from your system more slowly, which may result in a toxic buildup.
  • Drugs for blood pressure. Bumetanide may cause them to work less efficiently, or increase their effects. Taking these drugs in tandem may also cause dangerously low blood pressure. This list of drugs can include ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers, and other diuretics.
  • NAIDs, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Examples include over the counter drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen.

Your doctor may change your other prescriptions to avoid interactions, or they may take you off a medication entirely. If it is necessary that you take your other medications, your doctor may try other diuretics before Bumetanide, or lower your dose so they can be taken in tandem. Your doctor's advice should be followed closely to avoid complications.

Warnings

Bumetanide may not be compatible with everyone. Like any other prescription drug, it may pose risk to people that should not be taking it in the first place. While it is almost impossible to estimate how you may react to the drug, there are some warnings. These precautions should be taken seriously, and you should never take Bumetanide unless your doctor recommends you for treatment.

If you have experienced an allergic reaction to Bumetanide in the past, do not take it again. You reactions may be stronger this time, and the effects may be fatal. Likewise, if you have experienced allergic reactions or sensitivities to the inactive ingredients in Bumetanide, do not take it. Look for other avenues of treatment with your doctor, and make sure to inform them if you begin experiencing allergic reactions. Allergy symptoms include:

  • Swelling of the tongue/airways
  • Itching or burning sensations
  • Hives
  • Trouble breathing

Pregnant women should also avoid taking Bumetanide. It is a category C pregnancy drug, which means it may cause adverse affects in the fetus if taken while pregnant. Unless it is absolutely necessary, this drug should be avoided until the mother has given birth. Breastfeeding mothers should also avoid taking this drug, and formula-feed their babies if a prescription is necessary.

Seniors may have a harder time processing this drug, especially if it is taken at maximum dosage. This can cause added side effects, or a toxic buildup of the drug. Regular checkups are required to monitor intake/outtake, and your doctor may lower your dose to avoid complications.

Other warnings include:

  • Patients with a liver condition called hepatic coma. This drug could worsen that condition and cause further complications.
  • Users with kidney problems. Your kidneys are used to filter out this drug, and a failure to do so may result in buildup and increased side effects. Stop taking this medication if your kidney problems get worse.
  • Low electrolyte patients. Bumetanide can cause further loss of electrolytes, which can be extremely problematic for people with existing issues. Do not take this medication if you already experiencing electrolyte loss.

These is not a complete list of all warnings, just a guide on the most common ones. Speak to your doctor before beginning any Bumetanide prescription, as your personal medical history may affect what drugs you can take.

Storage

Bumetanide should be stored at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit. The drug should be stored away from light, and it should never be frozen or heated, as this may change the chemical makeup or effectiveness of the drug. This drug should also be stored away from water, so do not leave empty pills near sinks or showers.

This drug should never be taken by children. Store it up high, in a locked cabinet, or in a locked bottle, and never administer this medication to children. Do not leave the bottles open in places where a child might get to it. Avoid daily pill containers if you have small children, as these can be easily opened.

In case of travel, put this medication in your carry-on bag. Do not take it out of its prescription bottle, and do not mix other pills in with them. Do not take this drug unless you have a prescription, and do not give it to others, regardless of who they are.

Dispose of this drug in its original bottle, or seal the pills in a bag. Do not dump loose pills into the garbage, and do not put the pills in a translucent garbage bag. Pets, children, or other people may get to them otherwise. If possible, try to find a program that takes back excess medication. Do not take this drug if your prescription has run out, or if the pills have expired. Expired pills may have little to no effect, or they may cause adverse reactions.

Summary

Bumetanide is a common loop diuretic used to treat swelling and other conditions caused by high blood pressure and other bodily diseases. It may be prescribed off-label to treat other conditions, so look into the drug if you think you might need it. Bumetanide is prescription-only, so you will need to speak to your doctor if you want to take it. This drug is comes in generic forms, so look into buying generic if you are on a budget.

This drug may be dangerous to the pregnant, elderly, and children. Do not take this drug unless it is professionally recommended that you do so. Do not give this drug to others, and do not take more than prescribed. Overdose can occur if this drug is taken recklessly, so do follow your doctor's orders closely.

This drug can reduce how much water and salt your body retains, and put you on a more frequent urination schedule. It can help solve many existing issues, and improve your health. Side effects may occur, but in many cases they are mild and necessary for the treatment of a larger problem. Contact your doctor if you have concerns or questions about the drug.

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Last Reviewed:
December 23, 2017
Last Updated:
April 02, 2018